Warriors of the Rif

The Berbers are a group of peoples settled in North Africa, between the Canary Islands and Egypt (from west to east), and between the Strait of Gibraltar and the foothills of the Sahara (from north to south).

The Rifians are just one of these peoples, noted among other characteristics for their warrior spirit. From Rome to Islam, all those who dominated North Africa employed thousands of Berbers in their armies.

In the times in question, they were called "rifeños" because their leader, Abd-El Krim, belonged to this group and proclaimed a short-lived "Republic of the Rif". More common, however, was the popular and very ancient "Moor", a name whose origins date back to the Roman Empire.

Inhabitants of a poor land, the "Rifians" are frugal fighters: figs, onions or dates were the little food they used to fill their "skaras", the characteristic side bags, which are often marvels of local craftsmanship.

Being a fragmented people, blood, family or tribal relations reached high levels of importance on a day-to-day basis, which, coupled with their natural bellicosity, led them to be frequently locked in blood feuds with their neighbours, to raids for other tribes' livestock and all sorts of small and large-scale revenge.

A hard people in a hard land, where only in the valleys does agriculture thrive to some extent, their endurance on the marches, moving through mountains and ravines, is legendary, as is their marksmanship and their ability to move undetected by all but the most careful of sentries.

Being in (almost) permanent conflict with each other, they have become suspicious people, in permanent doubt about the outsider, and going from friend to foe in what many qualify as dissimulation, duplicity and deceit, but which is just another feature of their capacity for survival. This also makes them unsurpassed for ambushes and hand-to-hand blows, as they know how to use today's friendship to their advantage for tomorrow's enmity.

Their patience, combined with their marksmanship, makes them fearsome snipers. And the hardness of their life transforms them into cruel opponents when they are winning or when the enemy buckles, turning (as has been said) to the most obsequious of "friendships" when it is the opponent who has the upper hand.

In any case, a dangerous opponent in a dangerous terrain, this Rifian.

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New Miniatures from Warriors of the Rif